A source close to the Trump transition confirmed yesterday that John Kelly will be the head of the Department of Homeland Security.
Kelly, 66, is a retired Marine General and the former head of the U.S. Southern Command. He retired earlier this year. Kelly is the third retired military general named to leadership in President-Elect Trump’s Cabinet or staff, joining retired generals James Mattis (nominated for Defense Security) and Michael Flynn (nominated National Security advisor).
Throughout his 40-year Marine Corps career, Kelly was responsible for leading troops into combat in Iraq. He also lost a son during the war in Afghanistan. It is also well known that Kelly was critical of stances taken by the Obama administration, including security along the U.S.-Mexico border and closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Kelly also expressed concerns regarding the maintaining of current standards to serve in combat roles in the military following the administration’s opening of combat units to women.
The Department of Homeland Security is a massive department that was created following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Duties of Homeland Security range from counter-terrorism to enforcing immigration laws.